PTA will now be recording user data from every public Wi-Fi Hotspot

By Talha Saqib on
March 17, 2018
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Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has recently devised some rules regarding the user information on public Wi-Fi Hotspots.

As per the new regulations, every Access Provider and Class Licensing Registration licensees would be obliged to register, maintain and reserve the data/information of the people using the data services through publicly available Wi-Fi Hotspots. Afterward, they would have to provide the user information to the Authority or its authorized officer(s) when called for.

PTA states that the licensee(s) are required to devise a mechanism so that minimum information is required from the users via an automated mechanism. While the information to be fetched is as following:

  • Full name of the user
  • CNIC number /passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
  • Mobile number [shall be used as Login ID]
  • Acceptance of Terms and Conditions to use of such Data Services facilities
  • Generation of the password through SMS.

Moreover, the owner of Public Wi-Fi Hotspot would be required to maintain a log of following information of the users for ‘minimum six months’:

  • Full Name of the User
  • CNIC number/passport numbers (in case of foreigners)
  • Mobile Number
  • Date & time of login
  • Date & time of log off
  • IP address allocated to the user
  • MAC Address
  • Internet Access Log (e.g. Http, POP, IMAP, Skype, etc)

Not only that, there are other rules as mentioned by PTA such as licensees would have to carry out a media campaign to create awareness amongst the existing public Wi-Fi hotspot providers to make requisite arrangements for compliance of these regulations, within ‘three months’ of the notification of these regulations.

The licensees are also required to make sure that the regulations are properly implemented over their systems. In case of non-compliance with these regulations, the Wi-Fi hotspots provided by the Service Providers/licensees would be terminated.

The Authority has officially issued a draft comprising the regulations, titled as “Data Retention of Internet extended to WiFi-Hotspots Regulations, 2018″. The PDF of which can be accessed through here.

Lastly, the draft encourages the interested parties to share their thoughts on this matter as it states the following note:

“This draft intends to seek comments of all those interested on the subject, so as to introduce a mechanism for the registration, maintenance and retention of information of persons using data services through wi-fi hot spots in public places.

All interested are requested send their comments and views on this draft latest by 30th March 2018.Your comments may be sent in writing, or through email to Ms. Erum Latif, Deputy Director (Law & Regulations) PTA Headquarters F-5/1, Islamabad.


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